Former Washington Football Team Employees Call Upon NFL’s Social Justice Working Group to Push for Transparency in WFT Investigation

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, during the annual National Football League’s (NFL) owners’ meeting, 12 former employees of the Washington Football Team (WFT) urged the NFL’s Social Justice Working Group to push the NFL to publicly release the findings of the League’s investigation into decades of sexual harassment and abuse at the WFT. While other NFL team owners were copied on the letter, the Social Justice Working Group includes: Gayle Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints; Michael Bidwell, owner of the Arizona Cardinals; Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons; Jimmy Haslam, co-owner of the Cleveland Browns; and Shahid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

 The group of former employees, represented by attorneys Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, writes:

“The NFL is at a crossroads.  As reported by numerous news outlets, the NFL has long been plagued with racism, homophobia, and misogyny – from ownership, players, and staff.  Just this month , the New York Times reported on racist, homophobic, and misogynistic emails by then-Las Vegas Raiders Coach Jon Gruden, in an article with a headline pointing out “the NFL’s hypocrisy.”  Coach Gruden’s resignation was certainly appropriate, but the larger systemic problems remain.  Indeed, it is telling that after such a wide-ranging, exhaustive investigation into the culture of the WFT and its owner, the only person to be held accountable is the coach of another team.  The question for the NFL is not whether these problems of racism, sexism, and homophobia exist, but what is the League going to do about it?”

The letter continues:

“Now is the time for the NFL to change course and take action to denounce past racist, sexist, and homophobic conduct.  The first step in doing so is transparency.  The NFL must make public the findings of the investigation into the WFT.  We are calling on you to demand that the NFL make the findings public. We are calling on you to do the right thing.”

Two of the former employees hand-delivered this letter to NFL owners at the hotel where the NFL owners’ meeting is being held.  It’s time for these owners to act on the values they say they stand for and demand the public release of the investigation’s findings.

The full letter can be found here

Additional coverage can be found at The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, and the Associated Press.